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How to Clean Boat Engine After Saltwater

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Cleaning your boat engine after a day on saltwater is crucial for preventing corrosion and damage. Here’s everything you need to know:

What can I use to clean my boat engine?

There are a number of ways to clean your boat engine after saltwater exposure. You can use fresh water and soap, white vinegar, or a commercial boat engine cleaner. Whichever method you choose, be sure to rinse the engine thoroughly with fresh water afterward.

How to clean your boat with fresh water and soap

To clean your boat engine with fresh water and soap:

1. Rinse the engine with fresh water as soon as possible after saltwater exposure.

2. Mix a solution of fresh water and mild soap, and use it to wash the engine. Be sure to reach all of the nooks and crannies where saltwater might have accumulated.

3. Rinse the engine again with fresh water.

How to clean your boat with white vinegar

To clean your boat engine with white vinegar:

1. Rinse the engine with fresh water as soon as possible after saltwater exposure.

2. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

3. Spray the solution onto the engine, and let it sit for several minutes.

4. Use a brush to scrub away any remaining salt deposits.

5. Rinse the engine again with fresh water.

How to clean your boat with commercial cleaners

To clean your boat engine with a commercial cleaner:

1. Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label. In general, you will need to mix the cleaner with water according to the package directions, and then apply it to the engine with a brush or cloth.

2. Let the cleaner sit on the engine for the amount of time specified on the label.

3. Rinse the engine thoroughly with fresh water.

How do you clean salt off of an outboard or inboard motor?

To clean the salt off of an outboard motor:

1. Rinse the engine with fresh water as soon as possible after saltwater exposure.

2. Mix a solution of fresh water and mild soap, and use it to wash the engine. Be sure to reach all of the nooks and crannies where saltwater might have accumulated.

3. Rinse the engine again with fresh water.

4. Fill a spray bottle with a solution of equal parts white vinegar and water.

5. Spray the solution onto the engine, and let it sit for several minutes.

6. Use a brush to scrub away any remaining salt deposits.

7. Rinse the engine again with fresh water.

8. Follow the instructions on the cleaner’s label. In general, you will need to mix the cleaner with water according to the package directions, and then apply it to the engine with a brush or cloth.

9. Let the cleaner sit on the engine for the amount of time specified on the label.

10. Rinse the engine thoroughly with fresh water.

Can I pressure wash boat engine?

Yes, you can pressure wash your boat engine. However, be careful not to use too much pressure, as this can cause damage. If possible, use a low-pressure setting on your pressure washer. Also, be sure to hold the nozzle at least 12 inches away from the engine while you are pressure washing. Finally, rinse the engine thoroughly with fresh water after pressure washing.

How do you store a boat after cleaning?

After you have cleaned your boat and boat engine, it is important to dry everything completely before storing the boat. If possible, store the boat indoors in a cool, dry place. If you must store the boat outdoors, cover it with a tarp or other waterproof covering. Be sure to check the boat and engine for signs of corrosion or salt buildup periodically, and clean as needed.

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